Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Best Known For: Mambo, Pachanga
Juan “Pachanga” Matos is a popular mambo/pachanga performer, instructor and choreographer in the latin dance scene. He moved to the USA in 1996. Matos’ parents were popular hustle dancers in Santo Domingo and he often went to the clubs to watch them dance. They are his primary influence for dancing. However, his main inspiration to begin dancing was (like a lot of male dancers) a woman. He began salsa dancing to gain the favor of a girl who wouldn’t see him unless he took salsa classes with her.
Matos learned quickly and after a month was taking advanced classes. He suffered a setback when he was involved in a car accident that forced him to take a break from dancing. He worked hard and returned to dancing, and performed with several popular dance companies including the “Magic Combination Dancers”, Yumalee Dance Company, and Santo Rico Dance Company. Juan developed a new style called “Pachanga style” which helped him become even more popular in the dance circuit. This innovation is characterized by rapid foot movements and a smooth classic style, and helped establish Matos as a force in the mambo dance community. Matos is an inspiration to many mambo dancers, and one of the most influential dancers of his generation.